The European Union (EU) warmly welcomes this 11th meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council as a demonstration of the significance the EU attaches to its relations with the State of Israel. The EU reiterates the importance of further developing our broad bilateral partnership and looks forward to a comprehensive dialogue and cooperation with our Israeli counterparts.Predictably, the BDS crowd which has been pretending that they have been making progress into turning Isrsel into a pariah state is incensed:
The EU takes note of the efforts of both parties to develop bilateral relations in the period since the previous meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council. These efforts were framed by the general EU position, as it was established on the occasion of the June 2009 Association Council, that the 2008 decision to upgrade our relations in the framework of the ENP clearly stemmed from common awareness of the traditional links, the cultural and human values, and the economic and security interests that the EU and Israel share.
On exploring the opportunities of the current Action Plan, the EU recalls the exhaustive discussions on the issue, which resulted in a comprehensive list of up to 60 concrete activities in over 15 specific fields, including cooperation with a number of EU agencies within the current policy framework.... The EU welcomes the approval of these activities by the Association Committee and encourages the two parties to actively and urgently implement them, so as to fully demonstrate the capacity of the current EU-Israel Action Plan to deliver more benefits to the EU-Israel partnership.
Israel continued to benefit from a yearly allocation through the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) in the form of institutional cooperation (twinning projects). The EU takes note with satisfaction of the successful completion in the past year of twinning projects with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission and the Ministry of Communications.
The EU reiterates its fundamental commitment to Israel’s security, including with regard to vital threats in the region, which is best guaranteed through peace between Israel and its neighbours. The EU is appalled by recurring rocket attacks from Gaza and condemns in the strongest terms violence deliberately targeting civilians. The EU reiterates its call on all partners in the region for the effective prevention of arms smuggling into Gaza.
The EU and Israel signed an agreement on trade in agricultural, processed agricultural, fish and fishery products in November 2009, which entered into force on 1 January 2010. The implementation of this agreement has already led to a visible increase in overall bilateral trade in these sectors.
In the field of environmental protection, the EU finds the intensification of bilateral cooperation of the highest importance.
The Palestinian Council of Human Rights Organizations (PCHRO), a coalition of 11 Palestinian rights groups, Thursday strongly denounced European Union decision to upgrade its cooperation with Israel, accusing the EU of betraying its own principles.
So is the PA, which still subscribes to the zero-sum game mentality that holds that anything that helps Israel hurts Palestinian Arabs (and vice versa):
Palestinian lawmaker Mustafa Bargouthi joined a coalition of rights groups on Thursday expressing outrage at the European Union's expansion of cooperation with Israel.It seems beyond comprehension of the "pro-Palestinian" crowd that Israel's feelings of security, helped by announcements like these, make it more likely to make concessions to Palestinian Arabs, not less.
Bargouthi said the upgrading of bilateral ties was granted in contradiction to the EU's political position criticizing Israel's illegal settlement expansion, occupation and violations of international human rights laws.
Europe's decision will encourage Israel to continue its aggression toward Palestinians and breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Palestinian National Initiative leader said in a statement.
But then again, if their real objective is not to help build a Palestinian Arab state but to destroy the Palestinian Jewish state, then their statements and actions are perfectly consistent with their goals.